To the MindBodyGreen community, it probably comes as no surprise that stress has negative effect on your body. But did you know that money stress is one of the most detrimental of all?
A study done in 2009 by the Associated Press and AOL called, “Debt Stress in the United States” revealed the exact ways that money stress can damage your being.
Some of the key findings are below.
Of people with high stress over money:
- 27% reported digestive problems, compared to 8% of people with low money stress
- 44% reported migraines, compared to 4% of people with low money stress.
- 23% reported depression, versus 4% of people with low money stress.
- 51% reported suffering from back pain and muscle tensions, versus 31% than those with low money stress
In other words, money stress is no joke. And since every person on the planet has to interact with money on a daily basis, it is imperative that we manage this stress before it gets the best of us.
If you think money stress might be contributing to any ongoing health problems, try these five stress-busting action steps:
1. Identify your biggest money stress.
What’s is the biggest thing that keeps you up at night? Is it debt? Making ends meet? A major upcoming expense?
Once you can put your finger on the exact situation that stresses you most, you can create a plan to move forward. Take baby steps toward the solution, and remember to keep your mindset on the long-term.
2. Raise your money consciousness.
Pick up a book on personal finance (a great option would be Lynne Twists’s “The Soul of Money”), and commit to educating yourself on the basics. Knowledge is power, and in the same way you excitedly seek out the newest information on food, exercise and healing, start seeking out information on money, too.
3. Put your money to-do’s on autopilot.
So much of your financial life can be taken care of automatically, both ensuring you’re on track and relieving your day-to-day money stresses.
Try the following:
- Use Mint.com for simple, automatic budgeting
- Set up auto-pay to handle your recurring monthly bills,
- Have your employer direct deposit a portion of your paycheck into your savings account.
When you have your budgeting, bill pay, and savings taken care of, you have fewer financial matters to worry about.
4. Practice gratitude.
It’s very difficult to feel money stress when you fill your mind and heart with all that you’re grateful for. Set a weekly ritual to summon up your appreciation for your loved ones, your adventures to date, and all of the amazing resources that are available to you. What’s more, this deep, abiding sense of “enoughness” will prevent you from overspending.
5. Seek help when you need it.
If despite your best efforts, you still struggle with money stress, you're not alone. There are good, honest people out there willing to help you for a reasonable price. Don’t hesitate to call a credit counselor, a financial coach or a financial planner to help you sort through your situation with a professional, objective eye.
Money stress is a common problem, but it doesn’t have to be. If you find yourself suffering from digestive disorders, migraines, depression, or chronic muscle pain and believe that money stress could be the cause, try taking one of the five action steps above today. Educate yourself, take baby steps toward nixing your biggest money stressors, practice gratitude, and seek help when you need it. Doing these things could be just as valuable to your health as your yoga studio membership!
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